Source: FOX Sports
"I've had to learn some of the subtleties and the nuances of the sport, but I'm not going to change my style. That's what they wanted and I do work in boxing, kickboxing and MMA and I think one of my abilities is that I'm very emotionally invested in these sports. What these superstars and divas and fighters put their bodies through to not only achieve but to entertain. From an announcer's standpoint, I want to be able to convey their stories and add layers to their characters.
"We all know the difference between sports entertainment and the combat sports that I call, but at the end of the day, they are all spawned from the same source and there's a lot of mutual respect between the two bodies. From Ronda Rousey and Floyd Mayweather's involvement in WrestleMania and of course Brock Lesnar, who has been able to conquer both WWE and UFC. So they wanted me to be Mauro Ranallo, championship boxing commentator with a WWE tweak and working with Jerry Lawler and Byron Saxton, I'm in a perfect place."
Reaction to last Thursday and working with Jerry Lawler:
"I think everyone saw last night what we want to do and everyone was pretty happy with the result. Jerry 'The King' Lawler might be the most talented man I've ever worked with. He comes in, he's cool as a cucumber and then all of a sudden as soon as the camera comes on, it was a dream. It was an absolute dream come true to spar and share the same airspace with a guy I've respected for a long, long time."
The undeniable excitement in his voice:
"I do get excited because I am excited. I would not rather be doing anything else and I know what my job is. It's not about me. I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea and not everyone is going to approve of me being in WWE, but I guarantee every Thursday on Smackdown you're going to get the most prepared and the most passionate broadcast that I'm capable of giving you."
Mauro also discussed connecting with Michael Cole, being backstage at SmackDown and more in the full interview.